What is microservice architecture?

Are you wondering whether the microservice architecture would be right for you? 

Microservices have many advantages that can help you in application development by removing the limitations that come with a monolithic architecture.

But what is microservice architecture? How can this architecture allow developers to make changes and improve application components easily? You can learn more about this architecture in detail.

What is Microservice architecture?

Microservice architecture is a development pattern that includes multiple independent and loosely coupled services. Each service has a separate codebase, which small developer teams can well manage.

Developers can deploy all these services independently, providing a faster and easier application development. The application in this architecture can be developed as smaller independent parts.

Moreover, the architecture provides a framework to develop, deploy, and maintain services independently. You can know more about this architecture by understanding its characteristics.

Characteristics of microservice architecture

The Microservice has the following characteristics:

  • Each service can be tested in isolation.
  • Each microservice has a separate codebase. 
  • Microservices require the management of the data storage for each service.
  • Microservices allow the use of different tech stacks for other services
  • Each service focuses on solving specific problems. 
  • Each component of a microservice can be developed, operated, and scaled without affecting the functionality of other services. 
  • For communication between the services: there is no need for services to share their code with other services. The communication can be done via API.  
  • Microservices are suitable for developing cloud applications.
  • Microservices allow the flexibility to use different programming languages and frameworks to build other microservices.  

In addition to separate services, the microservices have the following components. 

Components of microservice architecture

Let’s check the components of the microservices. Also, you can check how these components work by checking the architecture of microservices.   

architecture diagram of microservices

The components of the microservices are given as follows. 

1. Clients

The client uses the app’s functionality from multiple services. The client handles multiple calls to microservice endpoints. Also, it is necessary for clients to update themselves frequently. The client performs various management operations such as search, build, configure, etc.

2. Identity providers

The identity provider transfers the client request to the API gateway. Identity providers authenticate each request from the clients’ side. Then these requests are communicated to the internal services through a well-defined API gateway.  

3. API gateway

API Gateway acts as an entry point and is responsible for request routing, composition, and protocol translation. API gateway updates all the services without informing the clients. Also, the API gateway offers many other functions such as providing security, load balancing, etc. 

4. Static content    

After the communication within microservices, these services deploy the static content to the clients via content delivery networks(CDN).   

However, every software developer must know the benefits of microservices to have a great application development experience.

5. Management 

The component allows users to configure services and operations in run-time. Also, the management balances the services on nodes and is responsible for identifying the failure within the system.

6. Service discovery

Service discovery helps microservices to find the route through which these services can communicate with each other. Service discovery instructs microservices about nodes’ location through maintaining a list of services. 

After knowing a few details about microservices architecture, let’s check what benefits it can provide for your project building.     

Advantages of microservice architecture

These are the following advantages of using microservices: 

1. Reduced development times

Small independent teams can take responsibility of building-specific services. Having a complete focus on a single service helps developer teams build services more easily and faster. This ultimately helps organizations reduce the time required for software development. 

2. Easy scaling 

It is easy to scale each service in microservices independently. Easy scaling helps the development team to add and improve features in specific services without disturbing the entire infrastructure of the application. 

3. No restriction on tool selection

Each service is independent; developers are free to choose the best development tool for solving specific problems. Having the freedom to select any development tool helps developers to improve the services’ features and solve problems in their preferred way.  

4. Faster deployment

Microservices provide a faster deployment through which developers can initiate the process of installing, updating, and configuring applications quickly. Moreover, microservices allow consistent app compiling, allowing developers to try new things in specific services. Microservices remove the risk of crashing the whole app. 

Suppose something goes wrong with the code source of specific services(during adding and improving new features). Only that service will be affected by that failed source code. 

5. Reusable code 

The architecture enables developers to write a code once and use it multiple times in different services. Reusing of code helps developers to avoid writing the same code for improving or adding new features to various services.

6. Excellent resistance to service failure   

The independent nature of microservices makes the applications resistant to any failure in the system. While in the case of monolithic architecture, the failure of any components can disturb the infrastructure of an entire application. 

Also, there is a high possibility that you might face a few challenges at the time of implementing the architecture of microservices in your development project.

Challenges in using microservice architecture

Knowing the challenges of applying microservices architecture helps you to decide whether this architecture will be suitable for your business or not. 

1. Maintenance of microservices 

Microservices require many programming tools and efforts to maintain each service. Each service has a different technology base and can use other languages for programming. The variation in programming language and development tools for each service can increase the maintenance cost in a microservices architecture.  

2. Complexity in operating microservices

As microservices applications are a set of independent services, managing each service requires extreme effort to avoid the application’s failure

The development team must coordinate all the individual components to maintain issue-free operation within microservices.If any component fails in microservices, the developer must ensure that the other components are resistant to failure and work properly. 

Use API management tools to avoid component failure, provide proper communication between components, and maintain all the essential factors to overcome these challenges.

3. Security risks

Since the data is distributed and separated for different services, it becomes hard to maintain all the data at once. Moreover, providing access control to individual services can also compromise security and increase the chances of cyber-attack attacks. 

Also, it becomes hard for developers to check the security within the system, as each microservices communicate with others through different infrastructure layers.

4. Debugging issues

Trying to figure out the compiling issue in a microservices architecture is hard. It’s because microservices are independent, and developers require perfect coordination between all components to maintain a flawless operation.

Consider using an application performance management (APM) tool to log easily within the components. 

5. Requires testing & monitoring

Each independent service within the microservices architecture requires close monitoring for checking and improving the performance of services during their downtime.

There also comes a high possibility that the service may require additional testing and monitoring methods, which can pose a great challenge for the development team. However, you can work on drawbacks by using a centralized logging and monitoring system.

However, you can overcome these challenges by following the best practices for implementing a microservice. 

Best practices for implementing a microservice architecture

Following the best practices for implementing microservices can overcome the challenges in applying microservices architecture. 

Let’s check some best practices that you can implement at the time of software development:

1. Check how microservices architecture will fit your project

Before using microservices architecture, it will be better for you to decide whether the architecture will suit your project or not. You can confirm by checking the application’s capability to subdivide into multiple independent services. 

If the applications’ components can be divided into multiple independent services, then you can implement the architecture of microservices on your development project. Also, ensure that you are choosing the right methodology for your project.

2. Design loosely coupled services

Designing loosely coupled services within microservices helps them to minimise their dependency on other services. Moreover, loosely coupled services will help you to scale each service independently.

Independent scaling can help you to modify or make changes in each service without affecting the nearby services.

3. Use APIs and events for service communication

Make sure to use API for efficient communication between the services. Moreover, API will help you to make changes and improvements within the services. API gateway provides an easy redirection for your traffic to the updated version of services within your application

4. Use virtual machines

Providing a consistent development environment across all the systems can help the developers to avoid any unnecessary issues that can happen due to variation in the performance within different systems.

Therefore it will be better for your development team to use a virtual machine for building applications in a microservices architecture.

5. Include a separate database 

Using a separate database for each microservice helps you customise each microservice’s storage requirement. Moreover, a separate database will help you maintain each service independently in a microservices architecture.

6. Isolate each microservice

You must deploy services separately, which saves time during the coordination of multiple teams (at the time of maintaining and upgrading services).

The independent deployment of each service can be done by using dedicated infrastructure for each service in a microservices architecture.

7. Use containers

Using containerized microservices can help you deploy services independently. 

Moreover, the container will also provide independence from a platform for each service which helps you to achieve the primary goal of microservices architecture.   

8. Use centralized logging and monitoring system

Centralised logging will help each microservice perform faster error handling and root cause analysis. Also, centralised monitoring helps improve the security within the microservices architecture for each component and will help monitor resource availability efficiently

Moreover, you can use the following tools to build microservices in an efficient way or you can hire expert developers for your project. 

Best tools for building microservices

Check out the top best tools you can use for building microservices on all levels. 

A. API management & testing 

B. Service monitoring

C. Component messaging

  • Logstash
  • Graylog

D. Orchestration

  • Conduktor

E. Kube development

F. Programming language

  • Spring Boot
  • Elixir

G. ToolKits

  • Seneca
  • fabric8
  • Google Cloud Functions

H. Architectural frameworks

  • Kong 
  • Goa

I.  Serverless tools 

  • Kubeless
  • Apache Openwhisk
  • Claudia
  • Aws Lambda
  • OpenFaas
  • Microsoft Azure Functions
  • Iron Functions

Also, you can check the top application development frameworks for your project. 

Many developers use a monolithic architecture for software development. Monolithic architecture can resist system upgradability for adding and improving the components within the application. Adopting the microservices architecture can remove the resistance to system upgradeability. 

Why replace monolithic architecture with microservice architecture?

Having dependent components in a monolithic architecture creates complexity in adding or improving features in monolithic applications. Therefore, Monolithic architecture limits the addition and improvement of applications’ components. 

In monolithic architecture, all the components are coupled tightly to each other and run as single services. If any of the processors needs scaling, it is necessary to scale all the processors within monolithic architecture. You can read the given below table to compare both these architectures in detail. 

Monolithic ArchitectureMicroservice Architecture
BasicBuilds as a large system having a common code baseBuilt as a small independent service having a separate code base
ScalabilityNot easy to scaleEasy to scale
DatabaseShared databaseSeparate database
DeploymentTakes more time Can be done fastly
UpgradabilityDifficult to make changes Easy to make changes

Therefore, using the architecture of microservices instead of monolithic architecture excludes the limitations of improving and adding new application features. Let’s move to the blog conclusion. 

Contact Idea Usher to build a microservice app.

It can be better for you to divide your entire application into multiple independent services for making changes in your application without affecting its functionality. 

Converting the monolithic architecture into microservices for your application development can provide ease.

Contact Idea Usher and hire expert developers if you want to implement microservice architecture in your application to make changes and improvements without disturbing its entire infrastructure.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Which big-name companies are using microservices?

A. Check out the name of top companies using microservices:

  • Amazon
  • Coca-Cola
  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • Groupon
  • Netflix 
  • Karma
  • Spotify
  • SoundCloud
  • Uber
  • Zalando

Q. What are the 3 C’s of microservices?

A. The 3 C’s of microservices are:

I. Componentize 

Please select an existing application’s components to separate them into microservices easily.

II. Collaborate

Conforming that each development team (building independent services) can deploy their output on the shared infrastructure. 

III. Connect

Ensure each component within the microservices infrastructure is connected before delivering the application to the users.   

Q. What is fault tolerance in microservices?

A. Fault tolerance is a property of microservices that allows a system to run correctly even after some components within the application fail. 

Q. What is Hystrix in microservices?

A. Microservices contain a ” Hystrix ” library that navigates and controls the interaction between multiple and independent services to provide latency and fault tolerance.  

Q. What are the main features of microservices?

A. Microservices have the following features:

  • Multiple & independent deployment of components. 
  • Data management in a decentralised way.
  • Technical independence for each service.
  • Easy distribution of services.
  • Quick and easy scaling of components.  

Q. What is coupling?

A. Coupling is defined as the strength of dependencies between components within a microservices architecture. There are two types of coupling.

Tight coupling means components are highly dependent on each other while 

Loose coupling indicates that components are less dependent on each other. 

Q. How are Monolithic, SOA, and Microservice architectures different from each other?

A. The difference between Monolithic, SOA, and Microservices Architecture is

Monolithic Architecture: An architecture where all software components are tightly packed and are dependent on each other.

Service-oriented Architecture (SOA): The architecture contains a collection of services communicating with each other. Communication involves the data transmission or mutual coordination between services on the same activity.

Microservice Architecture: This architecture style contains a collection of small services which are loosely coupled and have separate codebases.


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